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US military beats out Disney as happy place to work

A new survey that identifies the happiest places to work found that the US military ranked high.

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US Army infantry soldiers line up before their next training exercise at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2003. A recent survey found that the US military ranked high among the happiest places to work.

Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor / File

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Disney owns the “Happiest Place on Earth,” but it doesn’t employ the happiest workers in the US, according to a new survey that identified the most "blissful places to work." The list reveals all four major branches of the military and the National Guard rank higher than Disney and other well-known companies, such as Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson.

Despite lengthy deployments and lower salaries, for example, the Army and National Guard ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the career advancement category, beating out Google for the top spots. The military also ranked high in growth opportunity, benefits and job security.

“Corporate America could learn from our military’s unique programs. The bottom line is that when a company provides opportunities to grow and tools to improve skills, it creates a happier work environment,” said Rick Wainschel, vice president of online career-guidance tool CareerBliss.

CareerBliss used independent reviews to evaluate companies based on opportunities for growth, compensation, benefits, work-life balance, career advancement, senior management, job security and whether the employee would recommend the company to others.

In a review from the more than one thousand appraisals written by military members in 2010, an Army administrator in Georgia wrote, “Serving in the Army offered the ultimate job security, not to mention an unmatched benefits package. It was also a good source of gaining valuable technical and real-life experience.”

Bradley Brummel, a psychology professor at University of Tulsa in Oklahoma weighed in why the military has happy workers.

“Despite challenges that may occur when serving our country, including the possibility of going to war, the military provides many of the essential elements to finding happiness at work, including having a meaningful impact on the world, having true camaraderie with your co-workers and having the opportunities to develop skills,” Brummel said.

Top 10 blissful places to work, according to CareerBliss:

  1. Google
  2. 3M
  4. DTE Energy
  5. Air Force
  6. Qualcomm
  7. Army National Guard
  8. Marines
  9. Navy
  10. LSI Logic

The Army ranked No. 11, ahead of Johnson & Johnson (16), Cisco Systems (21), General Electric (30),Microsoft (39) and Disney (41).

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“It was interesting to see how well the military ranked relative to many top-tier corporations. After reviewing the comments from hundreds of reviews, it was clear our military service members not only take pride in serving and protecting our country but find a deep sense of personal accomplishment in the important work that they do,” wrote Wainschel in a statement.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer Brian Anthony Hernandez at Follow him on Twitter (@BAHjournalist) and become his friend on Facebook (BAH Journalist) to interact or stay updated on news about small businesses.

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